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Commonwealth of Australia - Queensland - South Australia

30. Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement [21 October 2000][34]

Recitals:

A. The Lake Eyre Basin has within its boundaries areas of national and international ecological and environmental significance, areas of high economic worth from activities such as pastoralism, tourism, oil and gas extraction and mining, and areas of social, cultural and heritage value, the sustainability of much of which depends upon the continued health of the Thomson/Barcoo/Cooper, Georgina and Diamantina river systems within Queensland and South Australia (as defined in the Australian National Map Drainage Divisions and Basins and including their catchments, flood plains, lakes, wetlands and overflow channels).

B. Management of the Lake Eyre Basin which will best serve the object of sustainability requires a joint cooperative approach between the States of Queensland and South Australia and the Commonwealth.

...

D. This Agreement is entered into by the Parties in accordance with the Lake Eyre Basin Heads of Agreement, and is to provide for the establishment of arrangements for the management of water and related natural resources for that portion of the Lake Eyre Basin identified as the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area in Clause 1.1, including the development or adoption, and implementation of agreed Policies and Strategies for the avoidance of adverse cross-border impacts and the creation of a relevant institutional structure.

E. This Agreement is also entered into in recognition of the provisions of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment dated 1 May 1992 between the Commonwealth, all States and Territories, and the Australian Local Government Association, that States use their best endeavours to establish appropriate mechanisms for ensuring cooperative management where significant adverse external effects on another State are expected and identified, and that the role of government is to establish the policy, legislative and administrative framework to determine the permissibility of land use, resource use or development proposals having regard to the appropriate, efficient and ecologically sustainable use of natural resources, and to provide for the consideration of regional implications where proposals for the use of a resource affect several jurisdictions.

...

The Parties agree as follows:

Part I - Application and interpretation

Application

1.1 This Agreement applies to that area of the Lake Eyre Basin (the Agreement Area) encompassing portions of Queensland and South Australia, as depicted in Schedule 1 of this Agreement, including within that area the following river systems and associated catchments, floodplains, overflow channels, lakes, wetlands and sub-artesian waters dependent on surface flows:

...

Definitions

1.2 In this Agreement save where inconsistent with the context:

"Ecosystem" means a community of organisms, interacting with one another, and the natural resources comprising the environment in which those organisms live and with which they also interact.

"Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area" means the area referred to in clause 1.1 to which the Agreement applies.

"Management Plan" means a plan or other document of a State that has been adopted by the Ministerial Forum.

"Ministerial Forum" means the group of Ministers of the Crown in right of the Commonwealth and the State parties constituted under Part V.

"Natural resources" means water, soil, the atmosphere, plants, animals and micro-organisms that maintain and form components of ecosystems.

"Principles" means the guiding principles referred to in Part III.

"Policy" means a document setting out a course or line of action developed or adopted and pursued by the Ministerial Forum for the purpose of implementing this Agreement.

"Related natural resources" means natural resources the use or management of which affects or might affect, or is or might be affected by the quantity or quality of water in the water systems described in clause 1.1 of this Agreement, or the ecosystems of which such water is a component part.

"Strategy" means a document setting out a course or line of action developed or adopted and pursued by the Ministerial Forum for the purpose of implementing a Policy.

[Omitted: Interpretation]

Part II - Purpose and objectives

Purpose

2.1 The purpose of this Agreement is to provide for the development or adoption, and implementation of Policies and Strategies concerning water and related natural resources in the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area to avoid or eliminate so far as reasonably practicable adverse cross-border impacts.

Objectives

2.2 The objectives of this Agreement are:

(a) to provide a means for the Parties to come together in good faith to achieve the purposes of the Agreement;

(b) to define a process and context for raising and addressing water and related natural resource management issues in the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area that have cross-border impacts, particularly those related to water quantity and quality, and flow regimes;

(c) to establish institutional arrangements for the development or adoption of Policies and Strategies and for the adoption of any relevant management plans established by a State;

(d) to provide for each of the Parties, so far as they are able within their respective jurisdictions, to progress the implementation of Policies and Strategies developed or adopted under this Agreement and to make management decisions and allocate resources accordingly;

(e) to provide a mechanism to review Policies and Strategies;

(f) to provide for the Parties to jointly promote and support the management of water and related natural resources through a cooperative approach between community, industry and other stakeholders, and all levels of government in the sustainable management of the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area;

(g) to encourage, promote and support water and related resource management practices which are compatible with the spirit and intent of the Agreement;

(h) to encourage and promote research and monitoring to improve understanding and support informed decision making in the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area;

(i) to provide for the review and, if necessary, revision of the Agreement from time to time; and

(j) to raise general public awareness of the special biodiversity and heritage values of the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area.

Part III - Guiding principles

3.1 Consideration of all issues and the making of all decisions under this Agreement will be guided by the following Principles, namely that it be acknowledged:

(a) that the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area has important social, environmental, economic and cultural values which need to be conserved and promoted;

(b) that there are landscapes and watercourses in the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area that are valuable for aesthetic, wilderness, cultural and tourism purposes;

(c) that naturally variable flow regimes and the maintenance of water quality are fundamental to the health of the aquatic ecosystems in the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area;

(d) that the water requirements for ecological processes, biodiversity and ecologically significant areas within the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area should be maintained, especially by means of flow variability and seasonality;

...

(f) that the storage and use of water both within and away from watercourses, and the storage and use of water from associated groundwater, are all linked and should be considered together, and that water resources throughout catchments within the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area should be managed on an integrated basis;

(g) that precautionary approaches need to be taken so as to minimise the impact on known environmental attributes, and reduce the possibility of affecting poorly understood ecological functions;

(h) that natural resource management decisions need to be made within the context of the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development and relevant national and international obligations;

(i) that the collective local knowledge and experience of the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area communities are of significant value; and

(j) that decisions need to be based on the best available scientific and technical information together with the collective local knowledge and experience of communities within the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area.

Part IV - Roles of the Parties

Responsibilities and interests of all Parties

4.1 The following will guide the Parties in defining the roles, responsibilities and interests of the Parties in relation to the achievement of the objectives of this Agreement.

Responsibilities and interests of the Commonwealth

4.2 The responsibilities and interests of the Commonwealth in safeguarding and accommodating matters of national interest include ensuring that the policies or practices of a State that affect or might affect the water and related natural resources to which this Agreement applies, do not result in significant adverse external effects in relation to another State.

4.3 When considering its responsibilities and interests under Clause 4.2 the Commonwealth will have regard to the role of the States in dealing with significant adverse external effects in accordance with the requirements of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment, and any action taken pursuant to that Agreement.

4.4 The Commonwealth will monitor the activities of the States in the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area to ensure Australia meets its international obligations in accordance with the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment.

4.5 The Commonwealth has responsibility for the management (including operational policy) of natural resources on land which the Commonwealth owns or which it occupies for its own use.

4.6 The Commonwealth will ensure that matters of national interest relating to environmental protection, sustainable agriculture and water and related natural resources management in the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area are appropriately addressed in consultation with the States.

4.7 The Commonwealth will consult with the States as required by the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment prior to entry into any international agreement which may directly impact on the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area.

Responsibilities and interests of the States

4.8 Each State will continue to have responsibility for the development and implementation of policy in relation to matters concerning the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area which have no significant effects on the water and related natural resources of the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area.

4.9 Each State will continue to have responsibility for its policy formulation and the administration of its legislation relevant to water and related natural resource management within the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area, but in so doing will, to the fullest extent that it is able, comply with this Agreement and any applicable Policies and Strategies developed or adopted under it. Further, to the extent that may be necessary, each State will use its best endeavours to secure the passage through its respective Parliament of legislation for the purpose of conforming with and implementing this Agreement and any such Policies and Strategies.

4.10 Each State will assist in the encouragement and promotion of research and monitoring to facilitate informed decision making for the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area, and the sharing of access to the results of such research and monitoring so far as either State may control such access.

4.11 Each State will consult with and involve Local Government (where relevant) in the implementation of this Agreement and the Policies and Strategies developed or adopted under it to the extent that State statutes and administrative arrangements authorise or delegate relevant responsibilities to Local Government, and in a manner which reflects the concept of partnership between the Commonwealth, State and Local Governments.

Part V - Institutional structure

Constitution of the Ministerial Forum

5.1 The Ministerial Forum is constituted.

5.2 The Ministerial Forum will consist of one Minister from each State and one Minister of the Commonwealth. Each Party will appoint its Minister from time to time, by notice in writing to each other Party.

...

[Omitted: Part VI - Conference, Part VII - Scientific and technical advice]

Part VIII - Policies and Strategies

8.1 The Ministerial Forum will, without unnecessary delay, develop or adopt Policies and Strategies for the management of the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area in accordance with the purpose, objectives and Principles set out in this Agreement.

...

Content of Policies and Strategies

8.4 The Policies and Strategies will make provision for such matters as the Ministerial Forum thinks fit, including but not limited to:

(a) objectives for water quality and river flows;

(b) objectives for water and related natural resource management in the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area for the achievement of the water quality and river flow objectives;

(c) catchment management policies and strategies for the achievement, as far as practicable, of the water quality and river flow objectives;

(d) policies for dealing with relevant existing entitlements under State laws and significant water related developments; and

(e) research and monitoring requirements and programs to meet those requirements.

[Omitted: Part IX - Ratification and effective date; Part X - Review and amendment; Part XI - Funding and accountability; Part XII - Further parties, Part XIII - General]

...

[Omitted: Schedule 1 - The Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area]

New South Wales - Queensland

31. Paroo River Intergovernmental Agreement [18 July 2003][35]

Recitals:

A. The Paroo River Catchment has within its boundaries areas of national and international ecological and environmental significance, areas of high economic worth from activities such as pastoralism and tourism and areas of social, cultural and heritage value, the sustainable management of which depends upon the continued health of the Paroo River system within Queensland and New South Wales (as defined in the Australian National Map Drainage Divisions and Basins and including its catchment, floodplains, lakes, wetlands and overflow channels).

B. Management of the Paroo River Agreement Area which will best serve the object of sustainable management requires a joint cooperative approach between the States of Queensland and New South Wales.

...

Part I - Application and interpretation

Application

1.1 This Agreement applies to that area of the Paroo River catchment (the Agreement Area) encompassing portions of Queensland and New South Wales, as depicted in Schedule 1 of this Agreement, including within that area the river system and associated catchments, floodplains, overflow channels, lakes, wetlands and sub-artesian waters dependent on surface flows:

Definitions

1.2 In this Agreement save where inconsistent with the context:

"Biodiversity" means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.

"Border Catchments Ministerial Forum" means the group of Ministers of the Crown of the States constituted under the Border Catchments Memorandum of Understanding or its future replacement.

"Ecological Sustainability" means using, conserving and enhancing the community's resources so that ecological processes, on which life depends, are maintained and quality of life for both present and future generations is increased.

"Ecosystem" means a dynamic combination of plant, animal and micro-organism species and communities and their non-living environment and the ecological processes between them interacting as a functional unit.

"Paroo River Agreement Area" means the area referred to in clause 1.1 to which the Agreement applies.

"Management Plan" means a plan or other document of a State that has been adopted by the Border Catchments Ministerial Forum.

"Natural resources" means water, soil, the atmosphere, plants, animals and micro-organisms that maintain and form components of ecosystems.

"Principles" means the guiding principles referred to in Part III.

"Policy" means a course or line of action developed or adopted and pursued by the Border Catchments Ministerial Forum for the purpose of implementing this Agreement.

"Strategy" means a course or line of action developed or adopted and pursued by the Border Catchments Ministerial Forum for the purpose of implementing a Policy.

"Sustainable management" means the management of biodiversity and health of natural ecosystems, including watercourses, floodplains, lakes, springs, wetlands and sub-artesian aquifers dependent on surface flows so they are protected from degradation, according to the principles of ecologically sustainable development and in recognition of the interests of Aboriginal people and others that depend on the water for their livelihoods.

...

Part II - Purpose and objectives

Vision

2.1 By recognising the unique character of the Paroo River, its river flows, floodplains and catchment, the people of New South Wales, Queensland and Australia will ensure it continues to provide spiritual connection, ecological diversity and integrity and economic sustenance for future generations.

Purpose

2.2 The purpose of this Agreement is to provide for the development or adoption, and implementation of Policies and Strategies concerning water and related natural resources that might be affected by or might affect the management of the quantity or quality of water in the water systems described in clause 1.1 of this Agreement, or the ecosystems of which such water is a part, in the Paroo River Agreement Area to avoid or eliminate so far as reasonably practicable adverse cross-border impacts.

Objectives

2.3 The objectives of this Agreement are:

(a) to provide a means for the Parties to come together in good faith to achieve the purposes of the Agreement;

(b) to define a process and context for raising and addressing water and related natural resource management issues in the Paroo River Agreement Area that have cross-border impacts, particularly those related to water quantity and quality, and flow regimes;

(c) to provide an emphasis for this catchment under the Border Catchments Memorandum of Understanding and the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement;

(d) to provide for the Parties to jointly promote and support the management of water and related natural resources through a cooperative approach between community, industry and other stakeholders, and all levels of government in the sustainable management of the Paroo River Agreement Area;

(g)[sic]to encourage, promote and support management that reflects the vision as defined in clause 2.1.

(h) to encourage and promote research and monitoring to improve understanding and support informed decision making in the Paroo River Agreement Area;

(i) to provide for the review and, if necessary, revision of the Agreement from time to time through the Border Catchments Ministerial Forum or the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council; and

(j) to raise general public awareness of the special biodiversity and heritage values of the Paroo River Agreement Area.

Part III - Guiding principles

3.1 Consideration of all issues and the making of all decisions under this Agreement will be guided by the following Principles, namely that it be acknowledged:

(a) that the Paroo River Agreement Area has important social, environmental, economic and cultural values which need to be conserved, promoted and, where necessary, restored;

(b) that there are landscapes and watercourses in the Paroo River Agreement Area that are valuable for aesthetic, wilderness, cultural and tourism purposes;

(c) that naturally variable flow regimes and the maintenance of water quality are fundamental to the health of the aquatic ecosystems in the Paroo River Agreement Area;

(d) that the water requirements for ecological processes, biodiversity and ecologically significant areas within the Paroo River Agreement Area should be maintained, especially by means of flow variability and seasonality;

...

(f) that the storage and use of water both within and away from watercourses, and the storage and use of water from associated groundwater, are all linked and should be considered together, and that water resources throughout catchments within the Paroo River Agreement Area should be managed on an integrated basis;

(j)[sic] that precautionary approaches need to be taken so as to minimise the impact on known environmental attributes, and reduce the possibility of affecting poorly understood ecological functions;

(k) that natural resource management decisions need to be made within the context of the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development and relevant national and international obligations;

(l) that the collective local knowledge and experience of the Paroo River Agreement Area communities are of significant value;

(m) that the interests, perspectives and knowledge systems of the Traditional Owners be formally sought on all key matters, and be fully recognised and considered; and

(n) that decisions need to be based on the best available scientific and technical information together with the collective local knowledge and experience of the Paroo River community, including indigenous communities.

Part IV - Roles of the Parties

Responsibilities and interests of the States

4.1 The following will guide the Parties in defining the roles, responsibilities and interests of the Parties in relation to the achievement of the objectives of this Agreement. Each State will continue to have responsibility for the development and implementation of policy in relation to matters concerning the Paroo River Agreement Area which have no significant effects on the water and related natural resources of the Paroo River Agreement Area.

4.2 Each State will continue to have responsibility for its policy formulation and the administration of its legislation relevant to water and related natural resource management within the Paroo River Agreement Area, but in so doing will, comply with this Agreement.

4.3 Each State will assist in the encouragement and promotion of research and monitoring for informed decision making for the Paroo River Agreement Area, and the sharing of access to the results of such research and monitoring so far as either State may control such access.

4.4 Each State will consult with and involve Local Government and the Paroo River community (where relevant) in the implementation of this Agreement and the Policies and Strategies developed or adopted under it to the extent that State statutes and administrative arrangements authorise or delegate relevant responsibilities to Local Government, and in a manner which reflects the concept of partnership between the Commonwealth, State and Local Governments and the Paroo River community.

Part V - Institutional structure

5.1 Consideration of issues relating to this Agreement will be under the Border Catchments Ministerial Forum or the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council when the former is no longer in operation.

[Omitted: Part VI - Scientific and technical advice]

Part VII - Policies and Strategies

7.1 The Border Catchments Ministerial Forum will, without unnecessary delay, develop or adopt Policies and Strategies for the management of the Paroo River Agreement Area in accordance with the purpose, objectives and Principles set out in this Agreement.

...

Content of Policies and Strategies

7.3 The Policies and Strategies will make provision for such matters as the Border Catchments Ministerial Forum thinks fit, including but not limited to:

(a) objectives for water quality and river flows;

(b) objectives for water and related natural resource management in the Paroo River Agreement Area for the achievement of the water quality and river flow objectives;

(c) catchment management policies and strategies for the achievement, as far as practicable, of the water quality and river flow objectives;

(d) policies for dealing with relevant existing entitlements under State laws and significant water related developments; and

(e) research and monitoring requirements and programs to meet those requirements.

[Omitted: Part VIII - Ratification and effective date; Part IX - Review and amendment; Part X - Funding and accountability arrangements; Part XI - General]

...

[Omitted: Schedule 1]


[34] FAOLEX (FAO legal database online).
[35] FAOLEX (FAO legal database online).

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